MINNEAPOLIS - The Class 2A, No. 5-ranked Fairmont Cardinal boys basketball lineup put on a defensive clinic during second-half action at the Target Center on Saturday to engineer a 63-42 victory over the No. 2-ranked Byron Bears.
The Cardinals, who opened the nonconference clash of titans with a 10-0 run, held a narrow 23-21 lead at halftime. Fairmont then limited Byron to only 21 second-half points, while scoring 40 to extend its winning streak to 10 games in a row.
Junior guard Mitch Pfingsten delivered a game-best 20 points, including a perfect 8-for-8 performance at the free throw line, to pace the Cardinals' balanced scoring effort.
RIGHT?ON?TARGET — Fairmont’s Alex Christianson (middle) shoots a jumper over Byron’s Lakin Koski (32) during nonconference basketball action on Saturday at the Target Center in Minneapolis. Fairmont’s Kayla Lardy (53) looks on. Photo by Leanna Becker
RIGHT?ON?TARGET — Fairmont’s Jay Ruen (left) defends against Byron’s Joe Smith during a nonconference basketball game on Saturday at the?Target Center in Minneapolis. Photo by Leanna Becker
Pfingsten also garnered four boards on the game to help the red-and-white to a 29-27 rebounding edge over the Bears.
Bryce Holm contributed eight points and five rebounds to Fairmont's winning ways, while teammate Josh Eversman netted seven points, four rebounds and three assists.
Jay Ruen produced solid all-around numbers of six points, five assists, four rebounds and three steals, while Ryan Noll scored six points and helped pace the red-and-white's high-pressure defensive performance.
Levi Becker and Luke Hested chipped in five points each for Fairmont, which proved a perfect 10-for-10 at the charity stripe. The Cardinals hit 16 of 38 shots from 2-point range on the game, while connecting on 7 of 18 from behind the 3-point arc.
Brandon Schubert scored nine points to top the Bears, while Michael Carl chipped in eight points. Jack Nelson, Byron's leading scorer on the season, was held to just four points.
Fairmont (17-3) plays host to Redwood Valley on Tuesday night, while Byron (18-3) entertains Rochester Lourdes on Tuesday night.
Cannon Falls 75, Blue Earth Area 53 - The Bombers downed the Bucs 75-53 in nonconference boys basketball action on Saturday in Cannon Falls.
Dallas Barslou tallied a team-leading 17 points to pace the Bucs' offense, while Brandyn Olsen and Collin Squiers each generated 10 points.
Along with his 10 points, Olsen nabbed four rebounds and doled out five assists, while teammates Luke Monson and Steven Plocker each pulled down five boards. Plocker also distributed three assists.
Isaac Darrington also doled out three assists for the Bucs.
Blue Earth Area sank 14 of 25 shots from inside the arc and drained 5 of 12 from 3-point range. The Bucs went nearly perfect from the free throw line, making 10 of 12 in the game.
Blue Earth Area (7-8) hosts Class 2A, No. 6-ranked St. Peter in a 7:30 p.m. South Central Conference game tonight.
Byron 60, Fairmont 56 (OT) - Vanessa Anderson produced a game-high double-double performance of 23 points and 12 rebounds to steer the Bears to a four-point overtime victory over the Cardinals on Saturday at the Target Center in Minneapolis.
Reed Klunder tallied 16 points for Byron, who fended off Fairmont in the extra session, 11-7.
Sophomore guard Sierra Schultz netted 15 points, in addition to distributing four assists, to pace the Cardinals' balanced scoring effort during the nonconference game in Minneapolis.
Junior guard Kristen Campe scored 14 points for Fairmont, while junior center Kayla Lardy and sophomore power forward Alex Christianson neared double-double territory. Lardy scored 10 points and grabbed eight boards, while Christianson netted nine points and hauled down seven caroms.
Sophomore guard Emily Kim collected four points and dished out four assists for the Cardinals, while freshman post player Courtney Mosloski chipped in four points.
Fairmont made 16 of 32 shots from 2-point range for 50 percent, hit 2 of 10 from behind the bonus arc and sank 18 of 26 free throws for 69 percent.
Fairmont (9-12) travels to Lake Crystal-Wellcome Memorial on Tuesday night.
Fairmont 22-27- 7-56
Truman 39, Madelia 37 - Power forward Brooke McDonald netted a double-double performance of 12 points and 12 rebounds to help the Bluejays edge the Blackhawks, 39-37, during Valley Showcase action Saturday in Cleveland.
Guard Cleo Maloney contributed 12 points and a game-high eight steals to Truman's winning effort, while teammate Emily Zaharia chipped in 10 points and five rebounds.
The Bluejays made 11 of 19 free throws on the game, while the Blackhawks sank 3 of 7 at the charity stripe.
Danielle Arndt scored 11 points to top Madelia, while teammate Rose Hruby netted 10 points.
Truman (4-20) travels to Springfield on Friday night.
Granada-Huntley-East Chain 69, Martin Luther 39 - The Mustangs' balanced offensive attack corralled the Knights in a 69-39 Valley Showcase victory on Saturday in Cleveland.
Rachael Sauck scored 14 points, doled out three assists and made two steals to lead the Mustangs.
Amanda Cegelske tallied 12 points, distributed seven assists, grabbed six boards, made two blocks and two steals to help the winning effort.
Anna Balcom neared double-double territory with nine points and nine boards, while Ryley Becker recorded nine points and pulling down six rebounds for GHEC.
Alex Stennes and Rachel Shumski each also scored eight points, with Shumski also making three steals for the Mustangs.
Kayley Shoen scored 14 points and made four steals to lead the Knights' effort.
Effie Bentz tallied seven points along with four steals and five assists, while Hunter Payne added five steals and five boards for Martin Luther.
Amber Schulz grabbed a team-leading seven rebounds for the Knights.
The Mustangs sank 9 of 12 shots from the free throw line, while making 28 of 53 field goals.
The Knights made 10 of 39 shots from inside the arc, while going 3-for-20 from 3-point land and 10-for-20 from the charity stripe.
Granada-Huntley-East Chain (13-6) hosts St. James in a 7:30 p.m. game Tuesday at East Chain School.
Martin Luther (11-2) plays host to Mankato Loyola in a 7:30 p.m. game on Friday in Northrop.
M. Luther 23-16-39
Mankato Loyola 58, Martin County West 52 - The Crusaders outscored the Mavericks by a single point in the second half to take the 58-52 Valley Showcase win on Saturday in Cleveland.
Alyssa Mettler scored 14 points to lead the Crusaders' winning efforts, while Annie Nawrocki and Aunikah Bastian each poured in 11 points.
Kate Thiesse scored a game-high 17 points along with making four steals to lead the Mavericks, while Ellie Kuehl netted 15 points.
Reilly Geistfeld grabbed seven boards for MCW in the game.
Martin County West went 17-for-43 shooting from the floor and made 14 of 25 from the charity stripe.
The Crusaders made 10 of 15 free throws in the game.
Martin County West (19-3) travels to Worthington for a 7:30 p.m. game on Tuesday, while Mankato Loyola (20-2) travels to Northrop for a 7:30 p.m. on Friday.